I drove up alone this time.
Mom and Dad knew I’d make it just fine and so they stayed in Minneapolis to usher my younger siblings to their first day of school. I sang along to The Lion King soundtrack and Boston’s greatest hits.
I rolled up in front of Brown Hall after four hours of driving, entirely ready to start my year and entirely dreading having to unpack. My roommates, Katie and Rachel, and my boyfriend, Nick, all came to help me haul my eight plastic totes full of office supplies, winter clothes, bedding, dishes, and books into my first floor room.
I spent a good amount of that afternoon trying to decide where to start. The floor of our living space (I live in a quad this year so my dorm has two rooms: one for sleeping and one for pretty much everything else) was covered with plastic totes and folded up butterfly chairs. The three of us navigated an obstacle course of rolled up rugs and bags of pita chips in order to turn the linoleum floor and beige walls into a home.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was stressful. I nearly cried approximately 90 times that first day back, both from anxiety and from just plain old homesickness – an ailment I managed to avoid on move in day last year.
As I unpacked over the following two days, it dawned on me that I’m probably never going to move home again.
I’m never going to pack up all my things and move back into my parents’ house and live in the basement with piles of my compartmentalized life pushed up against the wall. I’m never going to have my makeup and hair product strewn across the bathroom counter. I’m never going to store my dishes in the white faced cabinets in our kitchen. I don’t live there anymore.
Moving back to college after having four months back in the comfort of my childhood home was hard. It was a sudden jerk into the reality of laundry and dishes and budgeting when, all of a sudden, I didn’t have my parents to do those things for me.
I traded my parents for two of the best roommates and friends a girl could ask for. We had a solid sleep schedule (in bed by midnight, out by nine), we spend more time than I could count laughing and talking and creating some of the most ridiculous Snapchat stories ever. Moving away for good is hard, but it’s easier when you have a good place to land.
This summer was a hard transition for me.
I worried that I didn’t belong in the world of Academia. I worried that I was going to fall flat on my face again like I did last year. I spent a lot of my time second guessing my qualification to do anything but be a homebody. I nearly convinced myself to not go back to school. But I did go back and it hasn’t been bad at all. I came back to Concordia with an arsenal of anecdotal advice I racked up last year.
One of the bigger lessons I learned from freshman year that I’ll be applying to my life from here on out is that it’s okay to fail. There’s no shame in it.
It is okay to take a huge leap or have a hard fall and fail. It’s okay to try again. In fact, it’s mandatory. Another thing I took away from my first eight months at Concordia is that one of the perks of a private education is that you can ask for as much help as you want and no one is going to think less of you for it.
It’s been four weeks since I moved in to my cozy little home and I’ve nestled in. I got a job writing for my school newspaper, The Concordian (http://theconcordian.org/), I love my classes, and I landed a role playing Marta in this year’s musical, Steven Sondheim’s Company.
All in all, this year is shaping up to be pretty dang great.